Oct. 19, 2022

UCalgary hosts 2nd annual flag-lowering ceremony in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Elders and Indigenous community gather with members of UCalgary for a day of remembrance, recognition and healing
From left: Penny Werthner, Elder Reg Crowshoe, Elder Rose Crowshoe, Michael Hart, Elder Doreen Bergum, Ed McCauley. Laura James

Elders and Indigenous community members gathered at the University of Calgary Sept. 30 to mark the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a special flag-lowering ceremony.

The National Day started out as Orange Shirt Day in 2013 before being established as a federal holiday in 2021. It is intended to honour and remember those who endured Canada’s long-running residential school system — those who survived, and those who did not. 

The flag-lowering ceremony was led by Dr. Michael Hart, PhD, UCalgary’s vice-provost (Indigenous engagement), who, along with UCalgary’s senior leadership and others from the community, took part in a morning of remembrance and recognition through storytelling and song. The ceremony itself included a flag-lowering ceremony and the raising of a special Every Child Matters flag.

Following the flag lowering, the UCalgary community hosted and participated in meaningful and important discussions with the Indigenous community. 

In partnership with the Calgary Public Library, the Office of Indigenous Engagement hosted an afternoon panel discussion. In the evening, there was a screening of the feature film, Night Raiders. Approximately 1,100 people attended the afternoon panel discussion and evening film screening, both in person and online. Watch our 2022 afternoon panel discussion

Nickle Galleries hosted special tours of Indigenous art, such as Michele Hardy’s Prairie Interlace: Weaving, Modernisms and the Expanded Frame. 

UCalgary’s continued commitment to its Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p, provides its community members with a safe space to understand, ask questions and recognize the impact of residential schools and how it has affected our Indigenous friends, colleagues and family through intergenerational trauma. The strategy also serves as a constant reminder of UCalgary’s continued commitment toward truth, reconciliation and healing.

As we continue to learn about our past, we must put forward these findings to help build a brighter future and not allow history to repeat. Watch our 2022 annual flag-lowering ceremony in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, “in a good way,” UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.